Election 2017

Mid-day election updates from three Philly polling places

We stopped by wards with typically high turnouts to check in.

i voted sticker
Sydney Schaefer / Billy Penn

Turnout for the May primary was the highest Philly has seen in a District Attorney’s race since 2001.

Turnout was high (more than 20 percent — hey, it’s all relative) in a handful of wards in May, including Ward 46 in West Philadelphia, Ward 15 in North Philadelphia. Both also saw huge increases in turnout for the primary.

The city also saw a big jump in millennial turnout during the primary. Philly has seen pockets of high millennial turnout around South Philly and parts of the Northwest. But some areas, like the 66th Ward in the Far Northeast, have also drawn bigger 18-34 crowds.

We went back to polling places in all three wards today to check in on turnout. Here’s a mid-day status update.

Gold Standard Cafe, 4800 Baltimore Ave.

Ward 46, Division 17

Minority inspector Ryan Godfrey said there was a morning rush between 7 a.m. and 10:15, and voter turnout was at 16.4 percent just before 11 a.m.

“We’ll probably get in the 30s, possibly 40s,” Godfrey said of expected percentage turnout. The polling place serve 995 voters and saw a 51 percent turnout in May.

Ellie Cernansky judge of elections at Ward 46, Div. 17 on Nov. 7, 2017

Ellie Cernansky judge of elections at Ward 46, Div. 17 on Nov. 7, 2017

Zari Tarazona / Billy Penn

Ellie Cernansky has been the judge of elections for 20 years. “I don’t even remember when I started,” she said.

By 11 a.m., 178 voters had come through with an average age of about 50. Younger voters will trickle in as the day goes on, Godfrey said.

Voter count as of noon: 207

Fire Engine Co. 13, 1543 Parrish St.

Ward 15, Div. 7

The scene was sparse outside the firehouse late Tuesday morning, and as of 10:30 a.m. only 53 people had come through the door. Overall the 15th Ward had a 30 percent turnout rate in May.

Pa. Rep. Donna Bullock, D-195th, stopped by and said she will visit more polling places in her district throughout the day.

“These elections, particularly judicial elections are critical to what is happening in our lives every day,” she said. “If you have any displeasure with what’s happening on a national level, or if you are concerned about certain rights, like women’s rights, or workers’ rights, or clean air or criminal justice reform, those issues are decided in our state courts.”

Voter count as of noon: 80

Norcom Community Center, 10980 Norcom Rd.

Ward 66, Div. 7

Norcom Community Center
Sydney Schaefer / Billy Penn

Poll worker Bob Norton, 53, isn’t expecting big crowds today.

“Today’s low just because it’s a lot of judges and the DA, so it’s low,” he said. “We had a decent turnout [last November], but it was still low compared to the number of people in the neighborhood.”

The morning voters were mostly 50 and older, and Norton said that’s about what he’s expecting today. “On the most part, it’s older people coming into vote.”

Voter count as of noon: The judge of elections and other poll workers refused to provide this information


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